Russian petrochemical giant Sibur (Moscow; www.sibur.com
) has opened the countrys first polymers R&D centre at the Skolkovo Innovation Centre in Moscow. PolyLabs key priority, said Sibur, will be to promote the use of polymers to manufacture existing products and to design novel solutions for driving technological advances in the healthcare, consumer goods, automotive and construction industries. The centre will also foster the use of recycled materials and plastics in a circular economy.
Pilot manufacturing lines will convert samples of new PE and PP grades into products such as pipes, medical devices, films and food packaging, among others. The company said this will provide a deeper insight into the polymers' properties and impact on end-product quality so that it can further improve the materials and boost production efficiency.
At PolyLabs opening event on 29 May 2019, Sibur also signed several agreements with companies to cooperate in developing new grades and implementing plastics recycling technologies. Memoranda of understanding were signed with BASF (Ludwigshafen / Germany; www.basf.com
), Norwegian polymer R&D institute Norner (Stathelle; www.norner.no
), plastics extrusion group Reifenhäuser (Troisdorf / Germany; www.reifenhauser.com
) and US conglomerate 3M (St. Paul, Minnesota; www.3m.com
PolyLab boasts a unique set of cutting-edge processing, manufacturing and laboratory equipment essential for a full-cycle testing of polymers, from granules to end products, said Dmitry Konov, chairman of the management board at Sibur Holding. Together with our partners at Skolkovo, we believe that PolyLab will bring together companies seeking to leverage advanced eco-friendly materials to build sustainable business, industry and society.
The centre employs a staff of 40 and has project investments exceeding RUB 2.2 bn (EUR 30m). As well as developing new products, PolyLab will hold training sessions and technical workshops.
The Russian group is seeking to boost the competitiveness of domestically produced polymers and polymer-based products amid the ongoing start-up and commissioning of subsidiary ZapSibNeftekhims new PP plant at Tobolsk see Plasteurope.com of 22.03.2019
. Output from the plant is expected to be a major substitute for foreign polymers and help boost Russias non-commodity and non-energy exports.